Propaganda + Subjectivity in Retard Media

I was recently discussing a radio program with a friend who understands media quite well – but who seemed to be „playing dumb“ during the discussion. The radio program in question was a German one – BR’s Radiosalon had broadcast a debate about privacy versus the „espionage“ tactics used by many online media giants (I used the word „espionage“ to describe the behavior of such mega-media companies’ data gathering techniques, the BR Radiosalon program was actually called „Wie soll unsere digitale Zukunft aussehen?“ )

My friend is an acclaimed scientist with a deep understanding of statistics, research methodology, etc. I have a great deal of respect for his work, and I do not wish to ridicule him. On the contrary, the views he expressed are actually quite widespread and widely considered to be quite “normal” (I will get back to this aspect of “normal vs. abnormal” further below in this post). Indeed, these views were also discussed in the radio program.

The point in question is whether or not people have “something to hide” (though in my opinion the more crucial issue is that most people seem to have little or nothing to show). I agree with my friend that there is little to be concerned about if / when other people collect data (indeed, I am even of the opinion that data cannot really be “owned” — the way I see it, data are always freely available to anyone or anything that can recognize them). If someone sees me and scribbles onto a notepad that my race is “caucasian”, then their racism is their problem, not mine. Whether other people check off boxes or fill in blanks has nothing to do with me — instead, it is all about their point of view, perspective, biases, prejudices, etc. I couldn’t care less if large media companies record data about me or my behavior — unless they use this data to lie about me or to propagate rumors which are untrue.

If a larger portion of the population were more literate, more numerate, etc., then even such misinformation and propaganda would not really matter very much (cf. also this post by Gavin Patterson, CEO of BT). The other day I posted a “heatmap” graphic that was used in an article which was purported to be about how much of a webpage is commonly read. Of course it is impossible to measure whether a person actually reads something, but that did not prevent the author from pontificating profusely on the topic.

Apparently, the vast majority of people are less interested in literacy than they are in belonging to a crowd.:

Freud was saying that masses are bound by libidinal forces. They love each other and delegate their ideas and ideals to the chap on top. […] Hate is delegated to the others outside. — Dr. Leopold Löwental (39:50 – 40:25) in the BBC documentary “Century of the Self (Part 1): Happiness Machines”

Belonging to a crowd is normal, not belonging is abnormal. No one wants to be abnormal, and the media propaganda machinery is based on a foundation of belonging to the crowd, riding on the bandwagon, etc.

Today, few members of the complacent illiterate generation realize that what they perceive to be “objective” news are actually usually personalized (and therefore “subjective“) marketing messagesespecially online. People visit quite often, but they rarely (if ever) realize that the “news” they receive via their “newsfeed” is anything but objective. Likewise, the phrase “just Google it” is commonly understood to mean that Google is also objective. If fact, nothing could be further from the truth: Google is a corporation focused on maximizing profit — and that means showing you (the Google user) links they expect you will click on, such that the corporation (Google) will be paid by advertisers (and note that the link does not even need to be an advertisement — Google will also make money by displaying the advertisements controlled by Google which are displayed on the page, i.e. the so-called “organic” link the Google user clicked on). The fact that Google is a money-printing machine is a testament to the high degree of illiteracy we continue to observe today. Most members of the complacent illiterate generation are suckered into believing some subjective marketing message is actuallynews” — and that it is what the “normal” crowd also believes, that it is true, an objective truth, etc. — many times over each and every day.

At this point in the discussion, another friend chimed in and said “I cannot manage my daily life without my smartphone” (and the smartphone is made by the very same media conglomerates which profit from selling advertising disguised as “news”, “notifications”, etc.). Hence, the mass of men (and women, too) continue to lead lives of quiet normalcy, guided by advertising messages which cater to duping illiterate suckers into believing everything is hunky dory because they are normal (and also users of “advanced technology”).

Note that I don’t believe either of my friends should be called a “sucker“. In my opinion, they are simply illiterate (which most people refer to with the term “digital literacy“). They seem to be cognizant of their illiteracy — and yet they nonetheless remain complacent.

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More about Rewards

FYI: I posted some links re: rewards. :)


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Rewarding Life May Be Counter-Productive When Rewards Undermine Habits

A new friend of mine recently asked “how do you translate ‘rewarding’ into German?” I found it was fascinating that this was difficult to answer. We had been talking (and continue to talk) about how language and culture are closely linked to one another (something very well explicated by Ludwig Wittgenstein).

I have also recently discovered the “Happier with Gretchen Rubin” podcast — in Episode #9 Gretchen and Elizabeth answer the following question:

What’s the best way to strengthen good habits through rewards? Great question. [for the answer, listen @ ca. 18:30 – 24:40 ]

A small spoiler-alert: Gretchen says it doesn’t work very well.

I agree, and this is one reason why I am working on a blog post about this topic, too. Yet in my post it is not so much about rewarding good habits, but rather more about the use of rewards in business, according to economics / economic theory, putting theory into practice, optimization of daily life, all of a community’s lives,  etc. It’s actually quite difficult to wrap your head around, because my thinking calls into question some very fundamental issues — stuff that is very ingrained in the type of thinking used in most western economies. I will probably publish this @ Socio.BIZ, but I will also (hopefully) remember to leave a “trackback” link here.

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Something to Hide: Nothing to Show

Many people have something to hide, even though they maintain otherwise. In many if not most cases, people seem to try hiding that they feel as if they have nothing to show.

Let me step back for a moment to explain how this happens. Almost everyone desires someone or something. We think a lot about such people or things – day in and day out. When we hunger or thirst for what we desire, it almost feels painful to not be able to fulfill our wishes. When instead our wishes are satisfied, then we are alleviated and float in a dreamy glut of satisfaction.

It’s quite easy to see how someone might conclude that it is better to be desired than to desire… – but I think that would be a mistake. You are yourself able to desire, but you have no control whatsoever over your own desirability. You may try to be agreeable, but that only makes you a slave to the desires of others. (See also “Why I’m Not a Leader (and Why You Shouldn’t Be Either)” by Sean Werkema)

People are afraid – that when they show their hungers and desires, other people might see them as feeble, needy, … and ultimately undesirable. So people try to avoid such perceptions by aiming to be normal instead… – normal and satisfied.

Indeed, for a rather large number of people (AFAIK the entire population of Buddhists falls into this category), a fixation on being free from want (and/or desire) is central to their entire world outlook. The way I see it, such people refuse to be happy in order to avoid being unhappy. 😐

I prefer to own my desires. I savor the saliva dripping from my teeth as I bite into a delicious meal. I let my eyes curl around and roll over each and every curve in a beautiful woman’s body. I drink profusely the words of wisdom that fall from the lips of wise intellectuals.

But I do not stop there – why should I stop? I desire, and I also express my desires.

I do not doubt that others enjoy not only being desirable but also actually being desired. Why should I refuse to give others such satisfaction?

Some may view this as a power struggle, but I see it as embracing my own passions. And here, finally – perhaps – you may begin to grasp why it is so important for me that people express their own ideas in an authentic manner. Painting a picture of yourself on someone else’s website is of no interest to me. You might be able to create a wonderful image, but that image has no true blood flowing throughout the real flesh of reality… – it is plain and simple fake, inauthentic. It may be big data, but it doesn’t interest me in the slightest.

I want you to own your own ideas. If you don’t own them – if you just give them away to some big media company – then that means I feel unwilling and/or unable to desire you.

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The Complacent Illiterate Generation

Unfortunately, this is also my generation. 😐

The vast majority carry devices which track their every move. They submit their ideas to huge media conglomerate companies, allowing these spy organizations to comb through their information to find new + improved ways of targeting advertising, also known as a „personalized“ service.

Plus: there’s even more than that: They are so ignorant, they refuse to acknowledge that advertising really only has a chance to be successful if the person being advertized to doesn’t realize they’re being manipulated. At least 9 out of 10 such ignoramuses maintains that advertising doesn’t affect them at all.

This is my generation… – roll, skreek! 😯

I find illiteracy a nuissance. Without literacy, effective communication is much more difficult. 😐

Sometimes there is a great irony to the widespread complacency with respect to the extremely low levels of literacy. Let me give you an example. I have a friend who is a very good writer (I know it’s hard to believe, but I think he can write even better than I – at least in German [his native language *]). My friend recently said to me „I think it’s time for me to get popular“. I find this very ironic, because he is always trying to protect his privacy, he wants to remain anonymous, etc.

People who want to remain anonymous are mostly hiding from their friends. The government, retard media and a multitude of spy organizations already have everyone on the planet pretty much nailed down – most people couldn’t hide even if they tried. By seeking to remain anonymous, the complacent illiterate generation is preventing their friends from finding out anything about them… but they nonetheless cozy up to spies of every ilk imaginable.

See also: “The Millennial Media Landscape

(*) German is also a native language for me, as I grew up speaking two languages, … but I grew up mostly in the United States / American culture, so English is perhaps a little more native.

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